A grand hotel my name, yet by nature, the Kameha Grand Zurich is a uniquely contemporary creation. It’s a leisure and conference property, located between the airport and the city centre of this Swiss financial capital, where guests are promised an inspiring stay.
In my experience one should expect the unexpected; from striking design; world-class cuisine; unique suites; to a huge spa & fitness area. My short stay was barely enough to experience all that this Grand Hotel had to offer.
Kameha Grand Hotels & Resorts CEO & Founder, Carsten K. Rath is a charismatic entrepreneur, and his energy and vision for hospitality can be found here in this flagship Zürich hotel.
…expect the unexpected; from world-class cuisine to guest unique suites…
Life is Grand
So, you’re heading to Zurich, to the business and financial hub of Switzerland. What comes to mind? Swiss chocolate I imagine; maybe watch-making, and of course all those bank vaults full of money.
Well the designers at the Kameha looked to have run with those notions, yet mixed them up, added humour and flair to avoid any clichés to create the unique ambience of the Kameha Grand, writes Andrew Forbes.
I’ve passed through Zürich several times for both work and pleasure but this spring I got to enjoy a stay at the Kameha Grand and it was a real eye-opener! The hotel group is named after King Kamehameha, a legendary king of Hawaii who was said to be able to unite opposites.
Found less than 10 minutes by car from the Switzerland’s most efficient airport hub, and close to the city centre too, this modern, striking hotel reaches out to not only business and conference visitors but to leisure travellers too. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a stylish and fun hotel with one of the best restaurants in the city.
…first impressions can be deceiving…
From the outside the Kameha echoes its contemporary urban surroundings; shiny steel, aluminium and reflective glass makes for what at first might seem a typical 21st century building.
Yet once you pull up at the entrance you soon begin to see that first impressions can be deceiving. Theatre, showmanship, fun, and originality have transformed this modern building.
Out front is a sleek Maserati, used for airport transfers. Expect uniformed chauffeurs and impeccable service. For my short run I barely had time to devour the handmade chocolates, drinks and snack offer in the armrest hamper, nestling in the leather seat.
Once inside the spacious lobby the surprises continue. Brilliant white walks and a scarlet carpet climbing a sweeping staircase celebrate the colours of the Swiss flag. The welcoming space is also home to huge, outsize (each weighing 300 kilos I am told!) Swiss cow bells too! And behind the check-in podiums is a white leather wall decorated with classic, iconic concierge keys, beside which is a light box depicting Disney style animated clockwork complications. Beyond the lobby is a wall of fame; where portraits of famous guests hang. The nearby stadium and city venues have brought the famous and talented to Zurich and many have stayed here.
Yet the professionalism, friendliness and swiftness of service from the check-in team quickly showed me that there is more substance to the Kameha Grand Zurich than just its design form.
Within minutes I was aware that this wasn’t just another city or business hotel. No, it’s wonderfully, compellingly different, and that extends to the choice of suites. Not the usual garden view or city view – no, I was able to choose between a handful of unique ‘Theme Suites’, with names such as Diva Suite; Princess Suite; Burlesque; Fair Play; Workout and the Gentlemen’s Suite.
So, you thought I’d choose the Diva Suite, huh?! Wrong; I went of course for the Gentlemen’s Suite. Yes, a cool James Bond style suite that celebrates style, humour and just a little risk.
Opening the guest suite door reveals an entrance vestibule decorated with the iconic imagery from of a camera lens view from the opening gun barrel sequence from James Bond movies. Here there’s a work desk, and shall kitchen area.
The main living area is features a roulette table set for a night of luck and intrigue.
Other details include a gold rifle standard lamp and globe drinks cabinet.
… the Gentlemen’s Suite, a cool James Bond style room…
The theatrical elements aside, the suite is well equipped and spacious. Floor to ceiling glass windows surround the space on two sides with integrated blinds as well as curtains. The room is filled with light.
The bedroom area is well presented with lots of wardrobe space, and 5-star hotel amenities.
Large sliding doors, that look like giant bars of Swiss chocolate, open to reveal the bathroom.
Again, here the hotel is generous with space. A large ‘egg’ style bathtub with Molton Brown amenities sits in one corner, whilst along the other wall is the twin wash basins that are modelled on fondue bowls – another humorous reference to Swiss culture. A separate W.C. and walk in shower are housed in reflective glass modules.
Even the standard rooms have plenty of stylistic elements, from mini bars that look like classic vintage bank vaults.
Spa & Fitness
The wellness area reflects the grand scale upon which everything here is presented. The rooftop relaxation day beds offer a smart urban sanctuary; whilst below are treatment rooms, steam & sauna, and pool.
It’s also open as a Day Spa, and since it’s less than 10 minutes from Zurich Airport, it makes for a perfect place to unwind during a layover.
Dinner was the highlight of my stay. The YOU restaurant started as an Asian restaurant and has evolved into a modern eatery that’s recognised with a Michelin star.
This was also the biggest surprise of all – a truly superb meal. Read our YOU profile review here.
A stay at the Kameha is unique. Yet the lasting memory is the team. Looking closely at the Kameha identity logo I recognised that the letters spelling ‘ME’ are at the centre of it, an indication I’m was told of the hotel’s focus on each client, putting them at the centre of things. It may sound like contrite marketing but during my stay the team from check-in to the restaurant were genuine and professional.
Address: Dufaus-Strasse 1, Zurich
Phone: +41 44 525 5000